Pepper spray is made of a chemical compound containing capsaicin that irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and even temporary blindness.
Mace is a tear gas in the form of an aerosol spray that induces very similar effects.
Although considered non-lethal agents, they may be deadly in rare cases. Both can be used as forms riot and crowd control by law enforcement agents and as a method of self-defense for civilians.
The Boston Police Department does not advocate for or against citizens carrying mace or pepper spray, but reminds citizens to note:
Per Massachusetts General Law, to carry mace you must obtain a Restricted Firearms Identification Card (FID). This card legally allows a person to purchase and carry mace or pepper spray.
In order to register for this card, you must be:
There is also a $25 cash f registration fee. The average time for processing an application is two to three weeks.